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Expert says cooperation is way out for greater China-U.S. trade ties

By Li Yan (People's Daily Online)    17:27, July 19, 2017

The first round of the Comprehensive Economic Dialogue (CED) begins on July 19 in Washington. It is one of four major dialogue mechanisms the two sides established in April. An expert stressed before the meeting that cooperation was the only right choice for better China-U.S. trade relations.

Reuters pointed out in its reports that bilateral meetings to reduce U.S. trade deficit with China have reached preliminary agreements.

For instance, American beef has found its way back to the Chinese market after 14 years and the policy barriers for U.S. liquefied natural gas exports to China have started to crumble.

However, some people are mounting pressure on China before senior officials from both countries meet on economic and trade issues, with many hard nuts still left to be cracked such as trade friction. The U.S. has taken a hard stance on Chinese imports, especially steel and aluminum.

"It is an excellent momentum-builder, but much more needs to be done for U.S.-China commercial negotiations to be considered successful," said Jacob Parker, vice president of China operations at the U.S.-China Business Council in Beijing.

Generally speaking, cooperation is the only choice to improve China-U.S. trade relations, said Song Guoyou, director of the Center for Economic Diplomacy, Fudan University.

In the U.S., there are long-standing and even blown-up discussions that China-U.S. trade divergence exists and that the U.S. should mount pressure on China, Song disclosed.

However, the need for cooperation still has the upper hand because economic and trade matter a lot to both sides and the scope of cooperation is expanding, Song said.

Some U.S. groups insist that their interests are impaired as a result of trade with China. Some U.S. political elite on the other hand mount pressure on China over economic and trade issues with the aim of putting the U.S. in a vantage position.

Song suggests that China and the U.S. jointly take measures to respond to the negative voices, for instance, by exploring how to keep trade balance at macro level.

“It's easy to find a solution to such issues and the point is never to be ‘kidnapped’ by negative voices,” Song noted.

The 100-day action plan, which was announced during the Mar-a-Lago meeting in April between Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump, has proven successful, said Tu Xinquan, director of the China Institute for WTO Studies at the University of International Business and Economics.

Tu forecasts that trade imbalance will be tackled eventually, but that does not necessarily mean China will accept all U.S. demands. 

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